I had the great honour to speak at a recent webinar on the theme of ‘Ending US Aggression Against Cuba is Key to World Peace’ alongside a brilliant panel which included Cuban journalist Iroel Sanchez, Venezuelan Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Carlos Ron and Chris Hazzard Sinn Féin MP. Here I share a video and transcript of my contribution to the meeting.
As President Biden escalates US aggression against China, opposing this new cold war is becoming an increasingly central discussion among leading progressives across the world, including in Latin America. This is because relations with China aid Latin American countries to pursue an independent foreign policy instead of being subject to US dictates.
The No Cold War international campaign and the Tricontinental Institute are co-hosting an international webinar discussing ‘China, USA and Brazil’s quest for an independent foreign policy'. The event is taking place on Saturday 15 May 2021 at 9AM US Eastern / 10AM Brasilia / 2PM Britain / 9PM China.
At the launch conference of the No Cold War international campaign opposing the US aggression against China, on the 25th July 2020, Carlos Ron, Venezuela’s Deputy Foreign Minister, spoke alongside many international speakers to explain why Venezuela supported the initiative.
Luis Arce and the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) achieved a landslide victory in the first round of Bolivia’s Presidential election on Sunday 18 October 2020. This spectacular triumph was the culmination of almost a year of intense struggle, led by Bolivia’s working class and indigenous majority, to reverse the US-backed military coup of November 2019 which overthrew the country’s legitimate and democratically elected President Evo Morales.
US imperialism’s determination to dominate the entire globe is plunging humanity into a dangerous new cold war. The US ruling class is absolutely desperate to stop the rise of China and is increasing its aggression on many fronts to achieve this goal – from economic warfare to militarily encircling China. Should the US succeed in its cold war, the consequences would be truly devastating not just for the Chinese people but for all of humanity. This reality is widely understood by the left in Latin America where the difference between how the US and China interacts with countries in Latin America is obvious and profound, the former based on relationships of domination and subordination and the latter based on a relationships of cooperation and mutual benefit.
On 2 July 2020, the High Court in the UK made the outrageous decision to approve the British government’s blatant theft of more than $1bn of Venezuela’s gold reverses deposited in the Bank of England. This is just the latest craven manoeuvre by the British government in its quest to be a loyal junior partner in the Trump administration’s efforts to overthrow the legitimate government of Venezuela.
In their criminal adventures to plunder Venezuela’s gold, oil and other lucrative resources both Britain and the US are exposing themselves before the entire world as having no interest at all in supporting human rights, freedom and democracy in Venezuela. On the contrary, both Britain and the US continue to demonstrate their utter contempt towards the Venezuelan people and their right to determine their own future.
Latin America has become a new epicentre of the global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, as the death toll rapidly increases in countries with US-backed neoliberal governments. In particular, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru seem to be seriously mishandling the public health crisis.
The coronavirus is spreading rapidly in a number of countries in Latin America – posing a threat to the lives of millions of people across the continent. In this life and death situation the people of Latin America need solidarity and assistance to deal with a crisis that has overwhelmed the healthcare systems of some the world’s richest and most advanced economies in the world.
The response of governments in Latin America has so far varied considerably. Countries with a socialist oriented leadership have adopted strict preventative measures. On the other hand the ultra-right wing President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, is pursuing the opposite approach, joining Donald Trump in totally downplaying the crisis and failing to take action, which risks catastrophe and mass deaths in a country of 210 million people.
In 2018 the US coordinated an attempted coup against Nicaragua’s democratically elected President Daniel Ortega and the left wing Sandinista government. The coup plot failed but the impact of months of extreme violence instigated by right wing opposition groups funded by the US has been to transform Nicaragua’s economic success story into a crisis, with the economy contracting in 2018 and 2019. The imposition of US sanctions through the ‘NICA Act’ of December 2018 has put serious pressure on the Nicaraguan government.